1998 Sir John Egan report was reported as the new vision of the Construction industry, twenty years on the underlying issues identified in the report still plague the industry.

Following the Sir Michael Latham landmark report published in 1994 regarding the fragmentation within the industry was having a detrimental effect on the delivery and performance. Although the UK Construction industry displayed excellence, there was no doubt that substantial improvements in quality and efficiently were possible.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott set up a Construction Task Force headed up by Sir John Egan “Rethinking Construction” for improving the quality and efficiency of construction.

Following the report an Agenda was put together identifying five key elements considered for the way forward. The reports main objective was focussed on House Building, but later would have a significant impact on Facilities and planned Maintenance as well as cyclical works.

The report was a breath of fresh air to the industry. The report gave companies the opportunity for real long-term sustainability and the opportunity to evaluate their delivery moving away from the faming & feast scenario that has plaque the industry for decades leading to poor profitability and service.

The five key elements for the way forward were,

  • Committed Leadership
  • A focus on the customer
  • Integrated process and teams
  • A quality driven agenda
  • Committed to people

Has “Rethinking Construction” be a success?

For many companies they would agree it has been a massive success, lots of construction companies have grown beyond their wildest dreams but has the underlying problems that has always dogged the industry improved?

Has the Government’s commitment to the industry been fully supportive following Egan’s report?

Was the client’s commitment to the been consistent across the country or has there been fragmentation in the client’s perception of the Egan’s report?

Has the construction industry been genuine in its commitment or has it paid lip service to the process in its hunger for growth in doing so has their profitability improved?

Unfortunately, I am not convinced after twenty years we have made the progress of Sir John Egan’s vision.

Innovation is a great motivator for any new project, looking at the processes and delivery can only be a massive positive leading to saving time and money benefiting all parties in the supply chain ultimately leading to increased profits.

This can only be achieved successfully with the commitment from all, standardising the whole idea across the whole procurement process.

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